Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3862378 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 21, 1975
Filing dateDec 6, 1973
Priority dateDec 6, 1973
Publication numberUS 3862378 A, US 3862378A, US-A-3862378, US3862378 A, US3862378A
InventorsJ Ray Norris
Original AssigneeJ Ray Norris
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ear set
US 3862378 A
Abstract
An ear set with miniaturized electronic sound receiving and emitting equipment, in which the housing containing all or a portion of the electronic equipment has pivotally connected thereto a spring loaded lever to be placed behind the ear, the free end of which is by the preloaded spring continuously urged toward the housing. This lever has a bend and has its free end portion offset relative to that end portion of the lever which is pivotally connected to the housing. The angle of offset is such that the lever portion from the bend to the free end of the lever at least approximately follows the bone structure behind the ear. If desired, the lever may also contain electronic equipment which through the pivotal connection is electrically connected to the electronic equipment in the housing.
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Elite Norris States atent [191 21 Appl. No.: 422,402

[52] 11.5. C1 179/1S6 A, 179/107 H [51] Int. Cl. H04m 1/05 [58] Field of Search 179/156 R, 156 A, 182 R,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1949 White 179/182 R 10/1966 Flygstad et al 179/156 A Primary ExaminerWi1liam C. Cooper Attorney, Agent, or FirmWalter Becker Jan. 21, 1975 [57] ABSTRACT An ear set with miniaturized electronic sound receiving and emitting equipment, in which the housing containing all or a portion of the electronic equipment has pivotally connected thereto a spring loaded lever to be placed behind the ear, the free end of which is by the preloaded spring continuously urged toward the housing. This lever has a bend and has its free end portion offset relative to that end portion of the lever which is pivotally connected to the housing The angle of ofiset is such that the lever portion from the bend to the free end of the lever at least approximately follows the bone structure behind the ear. If desired, the lever may also contain electronic equipment which through the pivotal connection is electrically connected to the electronic equipment in the housing.

10 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures Patented Jan; 21, 1975 EAR SET The present invention relates to ear sets with miniaturized electronic sound receiving and emitting equipment. Ear sets of this general type which are hooked over an ear have been known for some time and substantially comprise a two part housing hook section, the two parts of which, respectively form a single integral part with the two parts of said housing section so that one part of the housing section forms a single integral rigid piece with one part of the housing, and the other part of the housing section forms a single integral rigid piece with the other part of the hook section. Ear sets of this design have not been adopted in practice to any material extent primarily because they do not adapt themselves closely and properly to the average ear variations and ear bone, or mastoid bone configurations and, therefore, have not the required close fit and drop off easily from the ear.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an ear set of the above mentioned general character, which will overcome the above outlined drawbacks and will easily and automatically adapt itself to any ear and mastoid bone structure of the respective wearer of the ear set so that it will be safely held on the respective ear.

It is still another object of this invention to provide an ear set as set forth in the preceding paragraph, which will permit electronically to use not only the housing section, but also the hook section and can be used even under high ambient noise conditions, e.g., by pilots in an airplane cabin, by telephone operators in telephone companies, etc.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates an ear set according to the invention with mouth tube and ear set cord.

FIG. 2 shows on an enlarged scale, that side of an ear set according to the invention which, when the set is mounted on the ear, points away from the ear, the lever or ear hook portion of the ear set being shown in two different positions in full lines and dash lines respectively.

FIG. 3 shows the ear set of FIG. 2, but seen from the opposite side with a portion of one section of the ear hook broken away.

FIG. 4 is an end view of the ear set according to the invention as seen along the line lVlV of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a cross section through the double purpose joint between the housing of the ear set and the lever thereof, said section being taken along the line V-V of FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 illustrates the upper portion of FIG. 2, but with the upper section of the housing of the set and the upper portion of the ear hook portion removed.

FIG. 7 shows the upper portion of the ear hook of FIG. 3, but without the spring.

FIG. 8 represents a portion of the ear set housing with a slight modification over FIG. 1, inasmuch as it is provided with an ear plug to better adapt the ear piece or ear set for use under ambient noise conditions.

FIG. 9 is a section taken along the line IX-IX of FIG. 7.

The ear set according to the present invention is characterized primarily in that the housing portion which houses electronic sound receiving and emitting equipment, and the connecting lever or ear hook which preferably also houses some electronic equipment are pivotally interconnected while the pivotal connection includes electrical connecting means for establishing safe reliable electric contact between the electronic equipment in said housing and the electronic equipment which may be provided in said lever.

Furthermore, said pivotal connection has associated therewith spring means which continuously urge the free end of said lever to move toward the housing.

In this way, the space between the housing and the lower end of the lever or hook adapts itself to the ear of the wearer of the ear set according to the invention while simultaneously at all times clamping itself safely to the ear of the wearer. Due to the electric connection within the pivotal arrangement it is possible to fully make use of the space in the lever for locating the electric equipment therein because said electric connections in said pivotal arrangement assures a fool-proof safe electric connection between the electronic equipment in said housing and in said lever.

Referring now to the drawing in detail, FIG. 1 illustrates the new ear set 1 according to the invention as worn over one ear and also shows the mouth tube 2, and ear set cord 3 with plug 4, which may be a twoprong plug or a one-prong plug as used, e.g., in aviation. The mouth tube 2 leads into the interior of the ear set 1 and has its free end provided with a microphone 5. As will be more clearly seen from FIGS. 2 and 3, the ear set according to the invention comprises a first housing section 6 shown in FIG. 2 and a second housing section 7 shown in FIG. 3. Both housing sections 6 and 7 are made to fit together one above or adjacent to the other so as to define with each other a chamber or a plurality of chambers for receiving miniaturized electronic sound receiving and emitting components of any desired or standard type, such as are necessary, for instance, for the receiver amplifier, speaker, etc. Inasmuch as the electronic equipment does not form a part of this invention and may be of any standard or desired type, there is only by way of example mentioned that for instance the speaker may be arranged at 8 while the receiving amplifier may be arranged, e.g., at 9. The two housing sections 6 and 7 are held together by screws 10. That outer surface of the housing sections 6, 7 which, when the ear set is on the ear of the wearer, faces toward the wearer, is designated with the reference numeral 7a, and is provided with perforations 8b to release the sound coming from the speaker in the ear set.

The ear set according to the invention furthermore comprises an ear hook or lever 11 which is pivotally connected to the housing 6, 7 as will be described in detail further below. The lever 11 is likewise composed of two sections, namely the sections 11a and llb which are held together by screws 12 and together define a chamber adapted to receive and house an electronic component 13 of the respective desired type. The housing 6, 7 and lever 11 are preferably made of moldable plastic material. As will be seen, in particular from FIG. 4, the ear hook or lever 11 has in conformity with the present invention, a bend at 14, thereby dividing the lever 11 into a shorter upper part with the outer surface section 14b and a longer lower part with the outer surface section l4a. The surface section 14a is offset from the surface section 14b to form an angle, preferably within the range of from 4 to 6, but this angle is not limited to this range. The main requirement in this connection is that when the ear set according to the invention is in its position of use, i.e., hooked over an ear as shown in FIG. I, the surface section 14a will at least approximately follow the contour of and snugly engage the adjacent mastoid bone, while the plane of the surface section 1412 is preferably located in approximately the same plane as that surface of the ear set housing which faces and is closest to the ear of the wearer of the ear set when the latter is in its position of use. The bend at 14 is of great importance in connection with the present invention, inasmuch as due to this bend, at least the lower portion of the longer lower part of lever 11 will closely and snugly engage the mastoid bone of the wearer of the ear set when the latter is in its position of use. As a result thereof, the outer housing surface 7a is urged closely against the ear of the wearer and will be given the desired close fit on the ear.

A high satisfactory angle by which the surface section 14a is offset from 14b would be, for instance, an angle of from 3 to 10, but it is to be understood that this angle could also be somewhat less or more. The only important point in this connection is that the lever portion downwardly from the line where the bend occurs must at least approximately follow the contour of the mastoid bond or head portion behind the respective ear so that while resting thereagainst, the lever surface section 140 will urge the housing close to the ear of the wearer. Since the mastoid bones on opposite sides of the head slant in opposite directions, it will be evident that the ear set according to the invention made to be worn over the left car must not be worn over the right ear and vice versa.

Referring now to the double purpose joint pivotally connecting lever 11 to housing 6, 7, this joint is best shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and to 7. As will be seen from HO. 5, each of the two housing sections 6 and 7 interconnected by screws (FIG. 2) respectively has an eye 6b with a bore 6c, and an eye 7b with a bore 7c. The bores 60 and 7c are in axial alignment with each other when the housing sections 6 and 7 are connected to each other. Each of the eyes 6b, 712 has a circular depression 14 and 15 respectively (FIG. 5) coaxial with the bores 60 and 70 respectively. In these depressions there are located and fit contact discs or rings 16 and 17 respectively, each having a central bore 16a and 17a respectively of a greater diameter than the respective pertaining bores 6c and 70 so that the metallic pin 18 passed through bores 6c and 7c will not contact and thereby short circuit the contact disc 16 and 17, each of which has a tongue 16b and 17b respectively. The tongues 16b and 17b are electrically connected to respective electronic components in the housing 6, 7. Similarly, each of the ear hook or lever sections 11a and 11b has an eye 19 and 20 respectively with a circular depression 19a and 20a on the outside thereof. Also substantially centrally through each of these depressions extends a bore 21, 22 respectively of substantially the same diameter as that of the bores 16a and 17a and in alignment therewith when the lever 11 is in proper assembled position shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The bores 21 and 22 are substantially coaxial with said depressions 19a and 20a respectively. Fitted into the depressions 19a and 20a are contact discs or rings 23 and 24 respectively, each having a central bore 23a and 24a therethrough of a greater diameter than that of bores 21, 22 so that when pin 18 is passed through bores 21 and 22 no short circuiting of contact discs 23 and 24 can be caused by pin 18. Each of the contact discs 23 and 24 has a tongue 23b and 24b respectively for electric connection with the poles, e.g.. of an electronic component in the ear hook or lever 11.

As will be seen from FIGS. 6 and 7, the tongues 23b and 24b pass from the outside of the lever eye to the inside of the lever. As will furthermore be seen from FIG. 5, the contact discs l6, 17 are respectively in electric contact with the respective adjacent contact discs 23, 24 and are held in this contact by pin 18 inserted from the outside of housing section 7 and having an axial threaded bore 18a engaged by a correspondingly threaded pin 30 screwed into pin 18 from the outside of housing section 16. The pin system 18,30 simultaneously forms the pivot pin about which lever 11 is pivotable. As will furthermore be seen from the drawing, especially FIGS. 2, 3, 6 and 7, the eyes of housing sections 6 and 7 have complementary recesses 25 and 26 in which an end portion of a pressure srping 27 is located whereas the other end portion of spring 27 is located in complementary recesses 28, 29 provided in the eyes 19, 20 of the lever sections lla and 1 lb. lnasmuch as spring 27 is inserted into recesses 25, 26 and 28, 29 under preload, it will be appreciated that the free end of lever 11 is continuously urged to pivot about pin system 18, 30 toward housing 6,7. Thus, the pivotal connection 16, 17, 23, 24, 18, 30, and 27 has a double purpose function namely to assure proper electric contact between the contact discs in the housing sections 6, 7 on one hand and the contact discs in the lever sections 11a, 11b on the other hand, and furthermore to continuously urge the lower portion of lever 11 toward housing 6, 7 to thereby hold the ear set in tight condition on the ear.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show a slight modification of the ear set of FIGS. 1-7. If the ear set according to the invention is to be used in areas with considerable ambient noise, the perforations 8b are replaced by an ear plug 31, e.g., of plastic or rubber, which has a central conduit therethrough leading from the inside of the housing section 7 to the outside of the ear plug.

As will be seen from the foregoing description, the ear set according to the present invention is characterized primarily by its snug and firm fit over the ear of the wearer, which makes possible the employment of a rather short mouth tube thereby increasing fidelity and gain. Furthermore, the pivotal connection of the ear hook or car lever simultaneously serves three purposes, namely, for pivotal connection of the ear lever to the housing of the set and to always assure reliable electric connection of electronic equipment in said lever with the electronic equipment in the housing. This last mentioned arrangement permits fully to use the space in said lever for mounting therein electronic equipment which in turn makes it possible to reduce the size of the housing 6, 7 and thereby the overall size of the ear set according to the invention. The third and very important purpose of the ear lever connection consists, of course, as mentioned previously in assuring the snug fit of the ear set on the ear and head of the wearer.

When placing the ear set over the ear, it is most convenient to pivot the free end of the lever 11 away from the lever until its stepped portion 11d (FIG. 3) abuts the oppositely located stepped portion 1d of housing 1. When the set has been put on the ear, the set is released and the free end of lever 11 is, by spring 27, moved back toward housing 1 where it stops at a slight distance away from the housing 1, in conformity with the space taken up by the ear portion between the housing and the lever of the set. When the ear set is taken off the ear and the ear lever is released, the lever will stop at a slight distance from the housing, namely when step lle (FIG. 6) abuts step 12 of housing 1. However, the steps le and 112 are not absolutely necessary, but if they are lacking, lever 11 might impact upon the housing when released and could possibly damage the highly sensitive electric equipment in the housing.

It may also be mentioned that the mouth tube 2 leads into housing 1 (see FIG. 1) where the housing is closest to the mouth in the specific exemplary showing in the drawing near the lowermost area of housing 1 whereby the length of the mouth tube is reduced to a minimum which, in turn, yields better fidelity and gain.

It is, of course, to be understood that the present invention is, by no means, limited to the specific showing in the drawing, but also comprises any modifications within the scope of the appended claims. As plastic material for the housing, any suitable and standard moldable plastic material may be employed, preferably such which is electrically insulating, as, for instance the material known under the trade name Cycolac made and sold by a Division of the Borg-Warner Corporation.

.What I claim is:

1. An ear set, which includes: housing means for receiving and housing miniaturized electronic sound receiving and emitting equipment, curved lever means having one end portion designed as a free end portion and having its other end portion pivotally connected to said housing means, and pre-loaded spring means interposed between and fully encased by said one end portion of said lever means and the adjacent housing portion to which said lever means is pivotally connected, said spring means continuously urging said free end portion of said lever means in the direction toward said housing means.

2. An ear set, which includes: housing means for receiving and housing miniaturized electronic sound receiving and emitting equipment, curved lever means having one end portion designed as a free end portion and having its other end portion pivotally connected to said housing means, said lever means having a bend between its pivotal connection with said housing means and its free end portion so that that surface portion of said lever means which when said ear set is in its position of use faces toward the head of the wearer and which extends from said bend to said free end portion is offset from that lever surface portion which when said ear set is in its position of use faces the head of the wearer and which extends from its pivotal connection with said housing means to said bend, said first mentioned lever surface portion being offset from said second mentioned lever surface portion in the direction toward the head of the wearer when said ear set is in its position of use, and pre-loaded spring means interposed between and fully encased by said other end portion of said lever means and the adjacent housing portion to which said lever means is pivotably connected, said spring means continuously urging said free end portion of said lever means in the direction toward said housing means.

3. An ear set according to claim 2, in which said first mentioned surface portion is offset from said second mentioned surface portion by an angle within the range of from 3 to 10.

4. An ear set according to claim 3, in which said angle of offset is approximately 5.

5. An ear set according to claim 1, which includes abutment means integral with said housing means and said lever means respectively for limiting the maximum pivoting movement of said lever means in either direction to thereby prevent said lever means from bouncing against said housing means.

6. An ear set according to claim I, in which said housing means and said lever means comprise each two sections made of electrically insulating plastic material and detachably connected to each other while each two pertaining sections together define chamber means adapted to receive and house electronic sound receiving and emitting equipment, and in which said housing sections respectively include two ears spaced from each other and provided with bores arranged in axial alignment with each other, a first set of annular contact means respectively being arranged in axially spaced relationship to each other and on those sides of said ears which face each other for connection with electronic components to be received and housed in said ear set, said annular contact means having bores therethrough axially aligned with said bores in said ears but of a greater diameter than the diameter of the bores in said ears, and in which said lever sections respectively are provided with two cars having bores therethrough corresponding in diameter to the diameter of the bores in the ears of the two sections of said housing means and being in axial alignment with each other, a second set of annular contact means respectively being arranged on those sides of said ears of said lever sections which face away from each other and respectively having axially aligned bores of a diameter greater than the diameter of the bores in said ears of said lever sections, said ears of said lever sections with the pertaining annular contact means of said second set of contact means thereon extending between and in respective electric sliding contact with the contact means of said first set of annular contact means, and bolt means extending through all of said ears and the contact means of said first and second sets of annular contact means and while holding said contact means of said first and second sets of annular contact means in electric sliding contact with each other pivotally connecting said lever means to said housing means.

7. An ear set according to claim 6, in which each of said lever sections has passage means leading from that side of said lever ears on which the contact means of said second set of annular contact means are located to the inside of said chamber means which are defined by said lever sections, and in which each of the contact means of said second set of annular contact means has an electrically conductive extension extending into said last mentioned chamber means.

8. An ear set according to claim 1, in which the outside of that housing section which when said ear set is in position of use faces the ear of the wearer of said set is provided with perforations.

9. An ear set according to claim 1, in which the outside of that housing section which when said ear set is in position of use faces the ear of the wearer of said set is provided with an ear plug having a passage therethrough extending from the interior of said housing means to the outside thereof.

10. An ear set according to claim 1, which includes an acoustic mouthpiece tube having one end connected to the interior of said housing means at a lower portion thereof.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2474135 *Jun 5, 1947Jun 21, 1949Gray Mfg CoAdjustable earpiece support
US3280273 *Sep 11, 1963Oct 18, 1966Telex CorpSelf-supporting operator's headset
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4273969 *Jun 1, 1979Jun 16, 1981Roanwell CorporationCommunications headset mountable over the ear
US4453050 *Mar 2, 1982Jun 5, 1984Sony CorporationEarphone
US4720857 *Dec 6, 1985Jan 19, 1988Plantronics, Inc.Miniaturized headset for two-way voice communication
US4932052 *Dec 13, 1989Jun 5, 1990Jack LoSelf-adjusting headset-handset combination
US4972468 *Oct 13, 1988Nov 20, 1990Sanshin Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaTransceiver for hanging on an ear
US5134655 *Jun 30, 1989Jul 28, 1992Jensen Jorgen WHeadphone with microphone
US5260997 *Aug 4, 1992Nov 9, 1993Acs Communications, Inc.Articulated headset
US5414769 *Jun 7, 1994May 9, 1995Acs Communications, Inc.Articulated headset support
US5446788 *Apr 21, 1994Aug 29, 1995Unex CorporationAdjustable telephone headset
US5533122 *Apr 26, 1995Jul 2, 1996Acs Wireless, Inc.Articulated headset support
US5655026 *Dec 23, 1993Aug 5, 1997Otto Engineering, Inc.Ear receiver
US5687231 *May 3, 1996Nov 11, 1997Acs Wireless, Inc.Articulated headset
US5757944 *Oct 29, 1996May 26, 1998Gn Netcom A/SHeadset with adjustable earhook
US5790683 *Sep 16, 1997Aug 4, 1998Salzani; AugustoHeadphone including split earphones and coupling means for coupling it to the ears
US5796821 *Aug 8, 1995Aug 18, 1998Crouch; Shirley AlineHearing aid telephone interconnect system
US5903644 *Jul 12, 1996May 11, 1999Akg Akustische U. Kino-Gerate Gesellschaft M.B.H.Monaural communication device
US5960094 *Jan 24, 1996Sep 28, 1999Gn Netcom, Inc.Communications headset
US6101260 *Feb 8, 1999Aug 8, 2000Gn Netcom, Inc.Communication headset
US6154539 *Sep 30, 1998Nov 28, 2000Unicon, IncorporatedHeadset adapter for microphone and earpiece
US6320959 *Aug 18, 1998Nov 20, 2001Shirley Aline CrouchHearing aid telephone interconnect system
US6356635May 14, 1999Mar 12, 2002Gn Netcom/Unex Inc.Headband for reversible mounting of headsets
US6377684 *Jun 12, 2000Apr 23, 2002Unex CorporationTelephone headset
US6396935 *Jan 24, 1997May 28, 2002Veijo Sakari MakkonenHeadset and method for a headset
US6418230Nov 20, 1998Jul 9, 2002Gn Netcom/Unex Inc.Flexible earhook
US6434251Mar 9, 1998Aug 13, 2002Gn Netcom A/SHeadset with adjustable earhook
US6580800 *Dec 7, 1999Jun 17, 2003Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Acoustic transducer
US6804364Apr 29, 1999Oct 12, 2004Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)Headset
US6914997Nov 5, 2001Jul 5, 2005Gn Netcom/Unex, Inc.Flexible earhook
US6925179Mar 29, 2001Aug 2, 2005New World Sounds, Inc.Method and apparatus for a hearing aid coupling system
US7302074Dec 27, 2002Nov 27, 2007Spirit Design Hubner, Christoffer, Wagner OegReceiver
US8005252Jun 1, 2009Aug 23, 2011Dolby Laboratories Licensing CorporationPersonal communications earpiece
US8014552Sep 5, 2007Sep 6, 2011Able Blanet, IncorporatedApparatus for communication coupling with a hearing aid
DE3831207A1 *Sep 14, 1988Apr 13, 1989Gn Netcom AsKopfhoerer mit mikrophon und lautwandler
WO1990000340A1 *Jun 30, 1989Jan 11, 1990Joergen Weber JensenHeadphone with microphone
WO1997027721A1 *Jan 24, 1997Jul 31, 1997Veijo Sakari MakkonenHeadset and method for a headset
WO2000067521A1 *Apr 29, 1999Nov 9, 2000Ericsson Telefon Ab L MHeadset
WO2002003662A2 *Jul 2, 2001Feb 5, 2003Huber DanielListening device
WO2002076146A1 *Mar 8, 2002Sep 26, 2002Koninkl Philips Electronics NvHeadset
Classifications
U.S. Classification379/430
International ClassificationH04M1/05, H04M1/04
Cooperative ClassificationH04R2201/107, H04M1/05, H04R1/1066, H04R1/105
European ClassificationH04M1/05, H04R1/10M2, H04R1/10H